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(Video Credit: NBC4 Columbus)
A number of Republican leaders in Ohio are urging former President Donald Trump to not endorse “Hillbilly Elegy” author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, who at one time was labeled a “Never Trumper,” in the upcoming crowded GOP Senate primary.
NBC News is reporting that multiple sources close to Trump claim that he is preparing to endorse Vance.
“Former President Donald Trump plans to endorse J.D. Vance in Ohio’s crowded Senate GOP primary, according to three sources with knowledge of his decision,” the media outlet reported.
“In recent days, Trump has begun calling donors and advisers to get their opinions on endorsing the ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author, but he held off under intense pressure from the rival Republican campaigns of Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, sources said,” NBC News noted.
🚨BREAKING: TRUMP TO ENDORSE JD VANCE FOR US SENATE!
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) April 14, 2022
Trump has been slow in endorsing a candidate in the race. Politico reports that Ohio Republicans are trying to keep him from endorsing Vance.
Ohio is a stomping ground for Trump, so it was a bit surprising when a polling firm that is linked to candidate Josh Mandel put out a memo that claims Trump’s endorsement of Vance would not help him win the race. Trump is seen as a kingmaker in the Republican Party and that is especially true in red states such as Ohio.
“J.D. Vance will still lose even with President Trump’s endorsement,” proclaimed Remington Research Group president Titus Bond. “J.D. Vance is widely known by Republican primary voters for his Never Trumper comments and previously calling Trump supporters ‘racists.’ Since he is already known to Ohioans as a self-proclaimed ‘Never Trumper’ and voters will forcefully be reminded of that, Vance will still lose even with President Trump’s endorsement.”
Three-dozen County Republican Party chairs and a number of other high-ranking party members penned a letter to the former president attempting to remind him that Vance had “referred to your supporters as ‘racists’ and proudly voted for Evan McMullin in 2016.”
SCOOP: A collection of more than three dozen Ohio county GOP chairs and state party central cmte. members have banded together to sign a letter urging Trump not to endorse JD Vance for Senate, noting that he “referred to your supporters as ‘racists.’” https://t.co/S80tqg78r5 pic.twitter.com/afuQUN4IDt
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) April 14, 2022
“While we were working hard in Ohio to support you and Make America Great Again, JD Vance was actively working against your candidacy,” the letter points out. “He referred to your supporters as ‘racists’ and proudly voted for Evan McMullin in 2016. Importantly, JD Vance is not, and has never been a registered Republican. To have someone who has not voted in a Republican primary carrying the mantel for the party is troubling.”
“We do not support JD Vance for the aforementioned reasons and would urge you not to endorse anyone in this race,” the letter states, bluntly requesting that Trump not weigh in during the Ohio primary.
I don't think President Trump is helping himself at all in Ohio by endorsing JD Vance. I'm seeing lots of upset Republicans.
— Scott Pullins (@scottpullins) April 15, 2022
Club for Growth President David McIntosh, who supports Mandel according to Politico, reportedly asked Trump to not endorse Vance as well.
Others who are supporting Mandel are attempting to persuade Trump to throw his support behind the Iraq War veteran.
Mandel is said to have called candidate Mike Gibbons a “p***y” during a debate in March and Trump allegedly called his behavior “embarrassing,” according to Mediaite.
(Video Credit: NBC4 Columbus)
The primary will take place on May 3, so there is not a lot of time left for a nod from Trump and it should be noted that an official endorsement has not been issued.
The winner of the primary will run against Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in the general election.
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